New Delhi: The Children’s Investment Fund Management (UK) Llp, or TCI, a London-based minority shareholder of Coal India Ltd, has filed a law suit in the Kolkata high court against the directors of the company, alleging breach of their fiduciary duties.

Coal India, which is headquartered in Kolkata, will file a caveat in the high court requesting it not to pass any order without hearing the company, said a senior coal ministry official.

TCI also named the government in the suit for allegedly abusing its powers as a majority shareholder, the fund said in a statement on Friday.

The fund alleged the directors of Coal India “failed" to perform their functions “with adequate care and skill" and that the government exerted pressure on Coal India’s directors, according to the statement sent by Oscar Veldhuijzen, partner at TCI.

“TCI estimates that, by the end of the current financial year, Coal India will have lost over 8,700 crore in pre-tax profits by reversing the price increase of 31 December, 2011," it said. “Further, by failing to raise FSA (fuel-supply agreement) coal prices to market levels, the directors have cost Coal India 215,250 crore in pre-tax profits since the IPO" in October 2010.

On 2 August, TCI had filed a petition in the Delhi high court against Coal India.

The fund also filed a notice to the government on 16 May of a dispute under treaties India has with the UK and Cyprus for mutual promotion and protection of investors. This is expected to come up for arbitration in an international court later this year, TCI had said.

“We have three law suits now... the last law suit is very different in nature though, as it is claim against board members on a personal level," Veldhuijzen said in an email.

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